CitizenClimate Series 03: Cho Sun-Hee

CitizenClimate is an ongoing sequence about world residents taking motion, massive and small, for the nice of the planet..

A photo montage with men and women and Korean text
Korean celebrities come collectively in help of the surroundings for Cho Solar-Hee’s picture shoot for W Journal © Cho Solar-Hee

The Citizen: Cho Solar-Hee, a celeb photographer primarily based in Seoul, South Korea

The Motion: Collaborated on a photograph shoot with Greenpeace Korea for W Journal and used the ability of celebrities to convey consideration to environmental points.

How did the collaboration with Greenpeace and W journal come about?

I’ve all the time been eager about Greenpeace’s environmental campaigns, visiting the location and studying in regards to the subjects. My son additionally has a eager curiosity in environmental points. He mentioned to me sooner or later, “Mother, you’re so fortunate.” I requested why and he replied, “You have been born earlier than my time and also you had extra recent air to breathe.” It was heartbreaking to listen to that. He is been an enormous affect on me with out realizing it.

I used to be then invited by Greenpeace to collaborate on a challenge. Whereas you will need to observe small efforts for the surroundings in our each day lives, equivalent to recycling, I assumed it might be nice to donate the expertise I’ve to assist extra folks study environmental points and be part of the motion for change. I did not should assume an excessive amount of and instructed Greenpeace to rely on me for certain. I assumed it might be significant to make use of the ability of celebrities to spotlight local weather change points and as a technique to relate the problems to our each day lives. As a photographer, that is what I thought of doing.

A woman in sunglasses holding a photo camera
Cho Solar-Hee at work © Cho Solar-Hee

How did you handle to work with a few of South Korea’s greatest celebrities to advocate for local weather consciousness?

Whereas the marketing campaign was for trigger, celebrities have busy schedules and the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing final 12 months. The marketing campaign wouldn’t have been profitable with out their dedication and sincerity. Photograph shoots contain so many issues that have to be sorted out, like scheduling, going to set, hair and make-up. Celebrities would have refused to marketing campaign from the beginning in the event that they weren’t genuinely dedicated to the trigger. I consider those that participated on this marketing campaign did so as a result of they have been personally eager about environmental points and needed to do the appropriate factor for the planet.

Lee Jung-Jae is an actor who has just lately achieved world stardom and gained prestigious worldwide awards with Squid Sport. (He is been a prime star in Korea.) We have been buddies for 27 years, however I used to be shocked at how keen he was to be a part of the marketing campaign. This made me see him in a unique gentle, as I used to be unaware of his curiosity in environmental points. He was the primary to be shot for the marketing campaign and I used to be very nervous that day. Not simply because I needed to do job, however as a result of I noticed it in a different way. I’ve labored with him many instances earlier than, however I’ve by no means felt extra nervous than I did that day. I may have let my ardour get the very best of me (laughs).

What impressed the idea of the picture shoot?

I had many discussions with Greenpeace about find out how to visually characterize environmental points. The plain method can be to {photograph} celebrities sporting t-shirts, however that was an idea I needed to keep away from. Possibly it may have labored, however I needed the marketing campaign to transcend the straightforward message of celebrities doing good deeds. There have been many discussions about methods to coach the general public, elevating consciousness of varied issues and proposing options. We had concepts to construct eventualities, however we deserted them as a result of that might produce an excessive amount of waste. This determination was very vital as a result of it ended up main us to provide you with an concept to digitally edit environmental points and options in pictures. Of Local weather Change? Rising sea stage? Renewable vitality? Power transition? All these warnings about environmental challenges can be small steps resulting in extra questions and, hopefully, motion. That is what I had in thoughts.

When the actors have been posing in entrance of the digicam, I attempted to zoom in on their sincerity with out being too emotional. Pictures will be dramatic if fashions create exaggerated poses and facial expressions like falling tears, however taking images with out frills and frills to speak genuine emotion like sincerity could be very tough.

A man and woman wearing a mask looking at a computer screen
Squid Sport star Lee Jung-Jae taking a look at images with Cho Solar-Hee through the picture shoot. © Cho Solar-Hee

What occurs when extra cultural icons begin speaking about local weather change?

One cause I labored with actors and celebrities on this picture shoot is as a result of they’ve the ability to seize folks’s consideration. The general public is interested in them. It’s my hope that the images will make the general public delve into the environmental message, provoke them to know extra in regards to the points and, hopefully, take motion.

What environmental points are necessary to you?

I feel single-use plastic is a major problem. We use quite a lot of plastic and make up quite a lot of excuses to make use of them. For instance, in a photograph shoot like this with so many individuals concerned, it could be unattainable to remove single-use plastics. Nonetheless, we’ve got made aware efforts to restrict our each day use of disposables to only one plastic merchandise, which I think about to be a optimistic step. This impressed me to use the thought to my different works. Doing this check was an ideal studying expertise.

Why is civil participation in local weather advocacy necessary?

Doing this challenge with Greenpeace made local weather change extra relatable for me. International warming was a obscure idea, however its impression has made worsening summer time warmth waves, longer wet seasons and excessive typhoons a brand new norm. And the way about winter? It is now not the winter I keep in mind rising up.

Local weather change is a tragedy created by human greed and consumption. I additionally notice that governments and firms should change as a result of they’ve the ability to steer extra necessary adjustments than the actions of people. We’d like public curiosity and help greater than ever to make this occur.

A blonde woman with a camera pointing at another woman sitting at a table
Actress Park Jin Hee on the picture shoot. © Cho Solar-Hee

What hopes do you’ve gotten for the long run?

I had requested celebrities through the picture shoot, why did you agree to do that challenge? What do you do for the surroundings in your each day life? I requested why I needed to be taught. I used to be dismayed to seek out that we have been just about on the identical place in our efforts as we tried to make use of much less plastic and recycle.

I feel we want public training to be taught definitive methods by which particular person efforts can result in better impression. It needs to be the identical for Korean faculty training. If our kids realized in regards to the surroundings and find out how to care for it from an early age, they might embrace the thought of their our bodies and minds. Now we have to show them in regards to the threats that put our Earth in danger and what actions we will take to deal with the local weather disaster.

Are you engaged on any initiatives associated to the surroundings at present or sooner or later?

It is all the time on my thoughts. Whereas I used to be engaged on this challenge, I used to be requested to archive my work associated to environmental points. I might have been reluctant up to now, desirous about the additional work concerned in reviewing all my images or resolving copyright points. However this time, I used to be wanting to say sure, regardless of my hectic schedule, and I took three days to pick out images that match the idea.

The surroundings was an concept that was obscure and unrelated to my very own life, however this challenge introduced it nearer to my coronary heart and strengthened my dedication, understanding that Earth is dwelling to my son and daughter. If there is a chance to coach the general public and lift consciousness, rely me in! I’ll do what I can.

Go to Greenpeace Korea for extra details about their campaigns and methods to become involved.

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